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>> it just started. so he has to come down from the other studio. come on. no, no. we've got a lot of stuff to do. >> i've got a question to ask you about this seriously. so this is spitzer's prostitute here. and i'm just wondering, is this to sell newspapers, "the new york post," or do they have a death wish for eliot spitzer? >> i think probably both. >> they won't stop at the "new york post." >> they own the story, joe. >> the third day. so are they selling newspapers, or do they hate eliot spitzer and want to make him wish he never whispered this in an otb? >> it's also bad business, by the way. you have to get a newspaper home because that's where consumer decisions are made, at kitchen tables. if it ends up at otb, you're not going to get that.
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>> it's junk. it's smut. you don't need it. all right, everybody. >> so a lot to talk about. >> yes. >> we just showed steny hoyer getting to business. >> we'll talk about that in the healthcare debate. and chris brown, a train wreck. that aired last night. he's a train wreck. >> he's expanding his story. oh, wait, she was on the grassy knoll in november of 1963. >> we need to ask the question as to why this young man is being given this platform. >> they're giving him option because they hate her. imagine if it were progressive hero, would they be letting some kid get the attention he's getting? it would never happen. but they give this kid oxygen who keeps expanding his story
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because they still hate sarah palin. and barack obama has announced he's going to be speaking next week to the nation on healthcare reform, a joint session of congress. we'll see how that message gets developed. >> they're working on it apparently. hopefully, it will be sharpened. why don't we take a look at the top stories, if i may. good lord he's not interrupting me. we'll start with our headlines now. for months, president obama has pushed for an overhaul of the nation's healthcare system while relying on congress to hammer out the details. but now with public support slipping, the president is planning to address a joint session of congress on wednesday, as joe says, to spell out exactly what he wants. it's not clear a public option will be included yet. offering his own final chapter, the late senator ted kennedy's autobiography titled "true compass" is set to hit shelves later this month. kennedy addresses his life in
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public service, including the achievements and struggles that define his legacy. calling it a "horrible tragedy," kennedy describes the 1969 car crash that killed a campaign worker at cap quidic. meanwhile, former boston red sox pitcher curt schilling is expressing some interest in running for kennedy's senate seat. crews in california continue to battle the station fire while investigators look for crews into what may have sparked it. the fire now 28% contained. it destroyed 64 homes. officials believe human activity caused the fire although they are not sure whether it was an accident or arson. nasa officials are monitoring a large piece of space junk that is threatening to hit the international space station. the debris, which is a piece of a european rocket, could pass within two miles of the orbiting lab. still, officials say astronauts are not in any immediate danger,
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anded today's spacewalk will likely not be delayed. >> so it's junk from a european ship? >> that's right. >> willie has a lot of experience with that. >> oh, willie. >> every weekend he runs into euro trash. 94th and broadway. levi johnson, the father of sarah palin's grandchild, is revealing a tough new look at the former governor. in "vanity fair" -- i don't know why "vanity fair" decided to do this. >> the kid is expanding his story. again, if this were a progressive hero, it would not be in "vanity fair" or anywhere else. this is a kid who is rewarded for lying. the more he inflates his story, the more money he makes. >> usually when you do that with
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people like this, their lives blow up because they don't know how to handle it. really what you're doing, "vanity fair" and everyone else, is taking part in him unraveling. >> he doesn't know he's being used. he thinks he's going to hollywood and be a star, and they're going to dump him. >> it usually happens to young women. what he told "vanity fair" was palin wanted to adopt his child so people wouldn't know her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant. and he describes her reaction after her run for vice president. "sarah was sad for a while." >> take it down. >> i can't do it. >> i'm moving on. >> i know. it's unbelievable. it's unbelievable that this kid, 17-year-old kid, who, again, stammered around when she first
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quit, he was trying to make up a story. i think she said something about money now, laying it out in great detail. i can make double or triple the money if i just quit as governor. again, every media outlet is going to feed into it because every media outlet is predisposed to hate sarah palin. we've said some very tough, critical things, and let me just say for the record, sarah palin's followers don't like me at all. you can go on the record and see that. that's because i've called her out on death panels and other issues like that. but this is inexcusable. >> what's the issue there that she could make money? why wouldn't a family discuss that and what their options are? so they put this boy up there, they prop up this 17-year-old -- i have a few words i probably could say -- to make it sound dirty. i just don't even want to hear it. anyhow, a new report shows the s.e.c. repeatedly missed chances to uncover bernie madoff's $55
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billion ponzi scheme. according to an internal report, the agency assigned inexperienced investigators and accepted implausible explanations for his massive profits. madoff recently said he was astonished his crimes were not uncovered. now, that is a story. >> it's unbelievable. bernie madoff had been under the watchful gaze of the s.e.c. for a long time, pete hamill. how did they keep missing this? >> partly because he was too big to fail. he was one of those guys who had so much money, so much of other people's money, and they were not regulating. regular arelation has become a dirty word. true regulation. and it wasn't just madoff. madoff was an evil genius from far rockaway high school, and he
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obviously knew what he was doing. but they didn't know, and they weren't interested. >> and even he now surprised he wasn't caught. that is a bad sign of our state of affairs. >> you look at what happens to s.e.c. over the past decade, where they allow hank paulson to lobby while he's running goldman sachs, to change the ratios to 40 to 1 for leveraging, just completely out of control over there. >> this is front page of "the washington post." here we go. above the fold here, it says, "over a 16-year period the s.e.c. looked into him five times and always took his explanation at face value." oh, okay, that makes sense. it's outrageous. >> he was the head of nasdaq for a while. you would think they would investigate them. >> that's a quick look at the news. finally got in smus in here.
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let's go to bill karins now for a check on the latest forecast. bill, good morning. >> i walked in a little late. joe or willie, did either of you thank mika for classing up the show and looking like a million bucks today? >> you're such a charmer, billy. >> you really class up the show. you look like a million bucks. >> why are you doing that? bill, the weather. >> i never have an ulterior motive. let's talk about erika. that's the tropical storm in the puerto rican vicinity. it actually has a chance of dissipating as it nears the dominican republic. this is not a storm we should worry about with any great concern. in areas of florida, georgia, and south carolina, enjoy your holiday weekend upcoming. today another great day from albany to boston. going to feel like late summer, early fall. low humidity. a couple of low clouds, but leave your umbrellas at home. little cool in kansas city.
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and hot and smoky in l.a. that will change by the time we get to saturday. friday, getaway day for the holiday weekend. airports looking fantastic. miami and florida, the only areas with showers and storms. even a sneak peek at your saturday forecast shows just the start of an incredible weekend from minneapolis to chicago. not bad in new york either. we'll talk mid-80s for labor day weekend any day. safe travel for anyone leaving early. >> good gracious. bill, thank you. i can't believe this madoff story. it gets worse. we'll talk about it later. >> it's shocking. i want to show you a poll we have in. i wanted to show you how the president's approval rating has been slipping near the 50% mark. also, look at what's happening in congress. this is a 24-year low. according to a pew poll, favorability for congress at 37%, going back to the mid-1980s. this is just a little context as we go through the healthcare debate. >> the lowest approval rating in
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congress in almost a quarter of a century. it's a tough situation, and you look at what happened. pete hamill, just january 20th, the hopefulness that we felt on the mall, over 2 million people waving flags, this is going to be a new era. now congress has a quarter century low in approval ratings. barack obama is around 50%. what's happening? >> i think with the congress they look like they're obstructing anything that obama wants to get done, primarily the republicans. it's the party of no. >> but the democrats own washington, d.c. >> but we're talking here the whole congress. you get harry reid, who could put a troop of raving maniacs to sleep just by opening his mouth.
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he's not there clarifying anything, particularly in healthcare. and nancy pelosi is, you know, nancy pelosi. >> yes, she is. >> and most people then go to do the dishes when she comes on. >> right. >> so they don't have leadership, and the democrats don't have real leadership in the congress that i can see or that anybody else can. and the republicans are absolutely negative. >> we've got a lot to talk about today, not including levi. just take a look at these two headlines. historic changes in the work force, women taking over. and then this headline. a two-thirds majority for evening news. >> how about that? >> got that coming up. coming up, as we reported in news, ted kennedy's memoir due out later this month. and details emerging about what's inside that book. we'll get a full report from nbc's andrea mitchell.
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also, the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory, has insight on what we can expect when president obama addresses a joint session of congress next week. and legendary journalist dan rather joins us, "washington post" columnist david ignatius, and the beat's tina brown. and politico's top stories of the morning, including what's expected to be joe biden's biggest speech since taking office. we'll be right back. >> i think first dude up there in alaska, todd palin, ought to take levi down to the creek and hold his head under water until the thrashing stops. there was a time i wouldn't step out of the house
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as he tends to do, the vice president's speech went on a little too long, and some of the players got impatient. take a look. >> the last 20 years to say how excited i am about this. but, you know, baseball was part of my life as long as i can remember. i remember -- >> that is not very nice. >> that's not nice at all. it's the vice president. >> that was politico's morning playbook. and the chief political correspondent mike allen. good morning, mike. >> good morning, sunshine. >> excuse me? i don't hear that every day. i feel good about it.
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let's keep talking about joe biden. not the little league speech, but another speech we hear he's going to make which could be his biggest yet. tell us about it. >> the boss is up at camp david. this is the vice president's chance to shine. it's a little bit like here at politico when jim goes on vacation. and the vice president will be delivering the west wing's message of the day and the biggest domestic policy speech since the vice president took office. he's going to take credit for the progress that's been made on recovery so far. the white house has been pretty much on the defensive about what the results have been of the stimulus plan. now they're finally seeing some results. the vice president is going to say that, if this were a marathon, 26 miles, that we'd be about the 9-mile marker. off to a good start. long way to go. he'll say the recovery act is not a silver bullet, but silver buck shot. >> and when are we going to hear this, mike? >> the vice president is going to be speaking this morning.
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i think he might have a little more sedate crowd than we just saw in that little clip. he's at the brookings institution. they usually don't get too crazy there. >> it's not like williamsport. let's talk about another controversy. maybe you can explain it. president obama with the schoolchildren. what's going on here? >> this really took me by surprise. we talked about the president announcing this speech when he did that interview with the young student journalist. but on the right, there was a terrible reaction to the idea that the president next tuesday would be talking on television to the nation's classrooms. the radio host hugh hewitt told me it seemed creepy to him that it was a dear leader type of speech. the white house is moving to tamp down those fears. for one thing, the president's message is about stay in school. he's not going to be talking about bailouts or afghanistan or anything like that. the white house is going to release the speech in advance. you can hear what your kiddies are having to say. the white house did do one
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clumsy thing that they're fixing. that is on the education department's website, and that is they urged students to write letters talking about how they can help the president. this is interpreted badly on the right. they're not using that phrase anymore. >> so they're going to pump it in the classroom. it would be kim jong-il. >> for the president, it was going to be propaganda. >> a little overreach. >> it was don't try to use kids as lobbyists. that is a stupid thing. then the white house, i think, figured out that that was stupid. that being said, seriously, why don't we want the president of the united states, any president of the united states, delivering the message to kids work hard, stay in school, succeed. >> again, there are certain people that are going to try to whip up ratings by talking -- comparing him to chairman mao. it's just asnine, and all they're doing is making themselves look stupid.
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get your ratings if you want. you're just screwing your political party. hope you enjoy your week of good ratings while your party burns. way to go. >> i can't find it. i'm looking through papers. i've got eliot spitzer's new job, kennedy's book about chappaquiddi chappaquiddick, among other things, the red sox guy wants to be a senator, but nothing about the guys running around it like a bunch of idiots in kabul. >> we're on it, nbc news. >> we are. in fact, the state department is acknowledging there are problems in kabul. we covered the story. take a look. >> reporter: they looked like photos of a fraternity party gone bad, some too graphic to even show. these are not drunken frat boys. they're reportedly private security contractors for the state department, guarding the u.s. embassy in kabul. that, according to a private watchdog group, the project on government oversight. a ten-page report sent to secretary of state hillary
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clinton claimed that some supervisors and guards frequently engaged in lewd and deviant behavior, hazing and humiliation of subordinates. that's based on information provided by more than a dozen security guards. >> i've talked to a number of the guys there who really feel very violated and humiliated. >> reporter: the report claims it all created a climate of fear and coercion that posed a significant threat to security at the u.s. embassy. >> this is not just about guys in parties being naked. this is about a total breakdown of the command structure. >> reporter: the state department today acknowledged there were problems. >> it's clear there were some things going on in kabul which we were not aware of, but frankly we should have been aware of them. >> reporter: the private company involved is armor group north america, a subsidiary of waken hut, both private security contractors. they've slapped them with nine security deficiencies at the
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kabul embassy three times, but renewed their contract for a year in july. it's not the first time private contractors have been caught up in controversy. security guards for the firm formally known as blackwater still face charges for allegedly killing innocent civilians in baghdad. and today the u.s. government has more private contractors than they do military forces in afghanistan. nbc news has contacted the company involved in these latest charges regarding the embassy in kabul, but they have not responded. the state department's inspector general has launched a full investigation. nbc news, the pentagon. >> i found something. contractors that continue to work in iraq temporarily, and then a discussion about some of the problems. >> good luck. i'm glad they're out there. they've got to make some beer money. >> you know what, don't even -- it's not -- you don't want to start this fight. it's 6:25 in the morning. you're tired. you don't want to do it. coming up, as senator ted
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kennedy's highly anticipated memoir, nbc's andrea mitchell will join us with details on that. and president obama looking to win back support on healthcare. we'll go live with chuck todd at the white house. and when we come back, the morning papers from around the country. we'll be right back with "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. does your mouthwash work in six different ways? introducing listerine total care. everything you need... to strengthen teeth, help prevent cavities, and kill germs. introducing 6 in 1 listerine total care. the most complete mouthwash.
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east coast. time for a look at some of the day's stories as we take a live look at washington, d.c. officials in california say they've contained more than a quarter of the massive station fire burning around los angeles. the fire remains a serious threat to several populated communities. a star high school football player in mississippi is being credited for his actions off the field. video from a school bus camera shows him tackling a 14-year-old female student who pulled out a handgun and started making threats. good lord. police say she was apparently tired of being picked on. all of the students are safe, and the girl could be tried as an adult now. and convicteded killer susan atkins will likely spend her last days in jail after being denied parole on wednesday. the charles manson follower who admitted to stabbing actress sharon tate 40 years ago is
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battling terminal brain cancer and slept through much of the court hearing. >> if only she were born in libya. >> that's what i was thinking. time to take a look at the morning papers. "new york times," obama may be left relying on the gop for support and not his own on the afghan war. joe? >> no doubt about that. he's talking about getting rid of the public option. "the washington post," the madoff files. a chronicle of s.e.c. failure. much more on this later in the show with nbc's lisa myers. >> "washington times" president's rare presidential address aims to give clear direction on healthcare reform. >> and "the wall street journal" obama relaunches health bid. president will take a more aggressive part in his domestic agenda than he has since he got sworn in. >> take a look at this story from the "charlotte observer" pfizer fined $2.3 billion over
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drug promotions. that's the largest in history. pfizer accused of illegal marketing to doctors by offering fully paid resort getaways loaded with perks. its biggest fine in history. unbelievable. >> thank god they didn't fine congressmen for doing the same thing. the houston chronicle, major oil find deep in the gulf of mexico. as much as 3 billion barrels worth. the discovery by bp is one of the deepest and the largest in the area. that's great news. >> and look at "usa today." women gain in historic job shift. scale tips as men lose jobs. there is kind of a dark side to that story, i've got to tell you, even though it seems so progressive, doesn't it? >> it's great. >> it's actually just a recession, and they're getting rid of expenses, people. since women don't get paid as much, the men get fired. >> here we go. gloria steinem in a white dress. just stop it. don't be a mood kill. >> there's a reason in a recession. women don't get paid as much.
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you get rid of the expensive employees, you get rid of the men. women are dramatically -- am i right, pete? >> come on, dude. it's the 21st century. >> here's the bottom line. there's so much inequality in pay at work. >> if you had to hire somebody, you'd hire a woman. men are dumber than women. >> i have always said that. >> women are smarter. >> i was just talking about the inappropriate pay. >> they don't have the testosterone problem. >> i've always said, if you want to get somebody to sit around and talk about what you need to do, hire a man. if you want to get it done, hire a woman. i've had women run my campaigns. i've had women ran my congressional offices. >> that's not my point, though. you don't want to look at reality. >> we're trying to compliment you. >> no, that's bs. >> that's not bull. it's the truth. it is. >> no, it's not the point. the reason this is happening is because women do not get paid as much.
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>> mika, i think that's a great point. women are the best workers. we all agree with you. coming up next, editor in chief -- >> we have a woman coming up. >> hugely successful editor in chief of "the daily beast," tina brown. and also, mika's must read opinion pages. i flinch to think about what they may be. and we're going to hear the chris brown interview on "larry king." >> talk about a train wreck. it got worse. l sidecar, but i've still got room for the internet. with my new netbook from at&t. with its built-in 3g network, it's fast and small, so it goes places other laptops can't. i'm bill kurtis, and i've got plenty of room for the internet. and the nation's fastest 3g network. gun it, mick. (announcer) sign up today and get a netbook for $199.99 after mail-in rebate. with built-in access to the nation's fastest 3g network. only from at&t. new aches and pains,
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my belief is we will be viewed as liberators. >> it endeded today when three car bombs exploded in quick succession. >> there is no doubt that saddam hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. >> there were no large stocks of weapons of mass destruction. >> the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential. >> i think the interrogations were in violation of the geneva conventions and the convention against torture. >> the democratic national
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committee is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> well, now. >> they're running against dick cheney. that's great. boy, that worked for nancy pelosi. >> here with us now, pentagon chief of thedailybeat.com. tina brown. >> democrats attacking dick cheney. that will get you votes. >> big news. diane sawyer taking over at nbc world news. that broke today. >> i think that's great for diane. what's interesting to me is they go with sawyer, who's this big gal, who's been in news style for so long. but at the same time, it also shows the lack, in a way, of big names in the kind of disaggregated media culture now. is anybody able to build a name as big in a way as that
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generation of big news stars? >> why is that? i'd always heard at networks, when i first came in, that the reason why is that in the news business the elders eat their young because they couldn't stand competition. so when we had everybody leave -- except for nbc, where you had brokaw purposely pick out brian williams and say, i want him to follow me. tom was the exception to that rule. but is that why? that at cbs and abc -- >> i actually think it's because those stars were built at a time when all eyeballs were on the networks. it's very difficult to build a name that big. you see the same thing in the media business and even the literary business. at a time when the focus was on fewer things, big stars got made. in this culture now, there's so much competition for eyeballs, it's hard to build stars that big. they keep going back to that pool of that generation, who
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were actually made as big names at a time when there really wasn't that much competition for eyeballs. >> let me ask the politically incorrect question here that people may not want to ask, but i think it's still very legitimate. and we've talked about this before. now we've got katie couric and diane sawyer, 2 out of 3 of the top networks having women in this cronkite role. do americans want to get their news, sort of their voice of god, from women? are americans progressive enough to accept that? mika has some very real opinions on this. >> i don't think frankly that's as relevant as it was. in some ways, diane's been kind of smart. katie came in as the trailblazer over there at cbs and was destroyed. everybody ate her alive. >> it was set up that way. >> it was set up that way for her, which was really abysmal. diane is coming as the second
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one. >> she can transcend it. >> she can watch what happened with katie. it's really more about that time slot. let's face it. what could katie or diane do about the fact it's not so much about our americans wanting to get their news from a voice of god. the voice of god no longer turns americans on. they're getting their news at any time they want. they're getting it on the internet. they're getting it on their iphones, and they're getting it on cable. >> mika, we had talked about this before. you have very real opinions. you've seen what women -- how women are accepted in media and how they're not accepted, especially on tv. i thought during the campaign -- i agree with gail collins and others who said that the incline for a woman being elected as president of the united states is even greater than for a person of color because of the way hillary was savaged. >> there's not enough time to talk about this. but it's the road and ascendance to credibility for a woman in
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any medium, especially this business, with all the different visual parts of it. i think it's still a game for people. they love the other end of it as well. >> they love seeing women crash and burn. >> look how long sawyer has paid her dues. this woman is the hardest working woman anyone has ever known. >> she is. >> she held down that morning thing ten years. >> and worked 24/7. i know her executive producer quite well, and he's worked with some of the biggest 800-pound gorillas in the business. she's the hardest working woman in television. >> just incredibly smart. she's going to bring a lot of interesting and imaginative ideas to it. she's a very bright woman. she's going to recreate her own broadcast. >> there is no doubt -- and we'll go to the op-eds. mika, you said this too. there's something in this culture that loves to chop down a successful woman. >> and it's not just this culture.
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it's the viewers as well and what they want. >> we definitely have to have a higher bar. we can talk about this a lot. >> let's read some op-eds. >> there's not one guilty person in this. "washington post" calling for rangel to step down. the bottom line is mr. rangel's amended financial disclosure form, which exposes omissions from his 2002 through 2006 records, is a treasure trove of outrage. he neglected to report a checking account with the congressional federal credit union and one with merrill lynch, each valued between $250,000 and $500,000. the tens of thousands of dollars he's earning from dividends from a number of mutual funds and stocks, and the money made from the sale of a harlem townhouse. as a result, his reported net worth doubled between $500,000 into over $1 million. to between $1 million and well over $2 million. they're saying he should step down. i'm saying he should resign
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completely. >> boot him out. what's he going to do now? go on "larry king" and apologize like everybody else? >> he writes a memoir and gets a book deal, the ultimate reward. >> for some reason, this is some big grand mistake, i'd love to hear it. it might be a pattern of mistrust. >> he's starting to use the race card now. according to the "new york post," charlie ups the race card ante. >> have not gotten over the fact that obama is president of the united states. they go to sleep wondering how this happened. charlie rangel. >> this has nothing to do with barack obama. so now we have david paterson actually trying to blame barack obama's election on his problems. charlie rangel is doing the same thing. they must both think americans are so stupid. >> by the way, they both got slammed left and right. no doubt about it. >> i do have to say i like governor paterson.
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the guy is fascinating. >> i like charlie rangel. i like his company. he's fun. he's laughter. i'd rather be with charlie rangel than with al gore. >> charlie is fun. i served with him in congress and liked him a lot. i just wish i knew he was rich. i asked him how you do that. >> if this is a pattern of behavior truly with him trying to shuffle around money for his own gain and he can't be trusted, why wouldn't people ask him to step down from his ranking position? >> why wouldn't nancy pelosi do that? nancy is saying, no, no, no, we're going to stand by him. >> he's involved in every single piece of this fall legislation. >> at the top of the hour, instead of levi johnston and his full screen about what he said to "vanity fair," we're going to read chuck hagel's post about the war in afghanistan. >> chuck hagel, though -- >> really good piece. >> chuck hagel drawing connections between vietnam and afghanistan. it's a piece from a guy that saw
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vietnam grow into what it eventually became. >> exactly. we'll get to that. tina brown, stay with us. coming up, dan rather will be here. first, he's won the heart of boston's sports fans, but can curt schilling also win over voters? >> no. show and tell
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welcome back to "morning joe." look at that picture of central park, the upper westside, hudson river, george washington bridge up at the top there. beautiful day today. time for some sports. the college football season starts tonight. a couple of pretty decent games. oregon going to boise state, both teams ranked there. saturday, 'bama playing, virginia tech, a lot of good games on the slate as we get kicked off there. baseball with fred from last night. fred? >> thank you and good morning. the tampa bay rays have not played like the defending a.l. champs like they are. last night they made up some much needed ground on the wild card leading red sox. go to florida tied in the
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eighth. pat burrell reached out and punched a single to right. carlos pena punches in the go-ahead run. and the next was evan longoria, who picked up burrell by crushing it over the left field wall. rays now five games out of the wild card in the a.l. gordon beckham made things interesting for the sox that cut the lead in half. jones has only blown four saves all year, make that five. after paul konerko blasted his 21st homer of the season. tied the game at 2. that was it for nathan, but not for the white sox. alexei ramirez lined a single into left. play at the plate. he was safe. white sox rally from two down in the ninth to beat the twins 4-2. brad penny pitched eight scoreless innings in his giants debut against the phils. juan uribe provided the offense. 3 for 3, including this home run. colorado also won. the rockies remain one game up on the giants in the n.l. wild card.
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great story here. astros aaron boone made his return to baseball with the cubs after missing five months due to open heart surgery. scrambles and tosses to first to make the play. derrek lee puts chicago up in the fourth with a two-run homer. cubs spoil boone's return, beating the astros 2-0. angels-mariners. bobble, recover, flip to erick aybar for one. aybar leaped over the runner and got the out at first. aybar with serious hang time, but not enough. mariners won the game 3-0. here's something out of left field. former red sox pitcher curt schilling has expressed interest in running for the senate seat held by the late ted kennedy. schilling is registered as an independent, but campaigned for george w. and john mccain. don't know if the liberal massachusetts voters will like that, meaning it will take more than a bloody sock to win this election. round two of the u.s. open.
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venus nursing a sore left knee. but she eked out the 3-2 win. serena was perfect in her match, 6-1, 6-1. if all goes well, the siblings could play in the semifinals. roger federer and rafael nadal also advance ds. hard work and punctuality are trait that's come to mind when trying to impress a football coach, but one bears receiver went the extra mile. he went flowers to the entire coaching staff. if that doesn't work, i recommend an all day pedicure session. finally, a bulletin board facing the notre dame campus with a not so subtle message to coach charlie weis. best wishes to charlie weis in the fifth year of his college coaching internship. he's lost 15 games in the last two seasons, the most in the 21-year history of the football program. charlie makes $21 million a year. that's one darn good internship. >> one more thing from the u.s.
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open. it's a youtube sensation. here it is. we like to laugh at people falling down. the ball boy, oh, my, going up and over the wall, disappearing into the cameras. don't worry, kid. you get another chance. up next, a little "news you can't use." more of the chris brown interview on "larry king." it didn't get any better for chris. we'll show you when we come back. pollen. when i really liked to be outside, i did not like suffering from nasal allergy symptoms like congestion. but nasonex relief may i say... bee-utiful! prescription nasonex is proven to help relieve indoor and outdoor nasal allergy symptoms like congestion, runny and itchy nose and sneezing. (announcer) side effects were generally mild and included headache. viral infection, sore throat, nosebleeds and coughing. ask your doctor about symptom relief with nasonex. and save up to $15 off your refills. go to nasonex.com for details, terms and conditions.
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without my makeup. now, it's no problem. (announcer) neutrogena tone correcting night serum with high performance soy to even skin tone and active retinol to speed cell turn over. clinically shown to visibly fade brown spots in 14 nights. i even out my skin at night so it looks younger, flawless in the morning. (announcer) neutrogena tone correcting now you can fade and prevent discolorations all day. new tone correcting spf 30.
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wow, is it time? >> chris was reading.
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>> let's talk about the chris brown interview. we played the excerpt two days ago. there was a full interview last night on larry king. where to begin? let's start with the fact that he still loves rihanna. >> you love her? >> definitely. >> in love with her? >> definitely. >> would you spend a lifetime with her? >> would i spend a lifetime? i'm young. i'm 20. >> let's say, would you conceive of that down the road? >> yes. >> he could conceive of spending a lifetime. i'm sure she feels the same way about him. >> my worry is she might. >> anyhow, i want to rip his earrings out. >> he's actually physically not allowed to be near her. >> but i read something. >> here's where it gets worse. he's talking about how they were just young kids and you get in a relationship sometimes, you fight, you argue, you punch her in the face, i guess, is what he said. >> what do you think caused you to be violent? >> just in a relationship in
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general, there's a chance you lose your temper, like argument to eat or whatever the case may be. i'm not saying domestic violence is a part of a relationship. i feel like that we're young. we're both young. nobody taught us how to love one another. nobody taught us a book on how to control our emotions, our anger. >> his mom is sitting next to him. >> that's his mommy? >> so he's saying my mom did not teach me not to beat the hell out of a woman or use her face as a punching bag? >> no one taught. isn't that sort of intuitive you shouldn't punch your girlfriend in the face? >> don't beat up a woman. >> at what time do you get a big vacation in public life where you do a bit of penance. it is not time for chris brown to come back in some kind of public -- >> he's not a good spokesperson
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for himself, let's put it that way. >> try to remember the talking points from the pr guy, right? >> he didn't get them down, did he? >> i hope they won't let him forget. >> i just think he should not be given a free pass on this. i lament the fact that rihanna seems to be in a way weakening towards him. that's the tragedy. >> something's going on. there's some sort of move to whatever. >> let's turn away from him to a great american that goes by the name of james traficant. >> mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman got out of jail yesterday. after serving seven years. of course, he was in there for bribery and racketeering, the former ohio democrat. >> he was sent up the river. >> these are prejail pictures. >> i never took bribes. >> exactly. no one ever told him not to take bribes. >> this is before jail. >> prejail. >> our friends at msnbc put together a little montage of
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some of his greatest hits being a defiant u.s. congressman. listen to these. >> speaking out for the american people. >> beam me up here. if they lie again, i'm going to go over and kick him in the crotch. mr. chairman, i want to inquire how come there is no coffee at this hearing? i'll be damned if i'll be targeted. the fbi can go to hell. i will break out of prison, and i will make an exile out of some of these democrats. what do you want, a picture of my crotch next here? >> i love him. that is so great. >> he seriously was one of the funnest guys to work with. >> absolutely. >> because you'd always walk -- everybody would walk past and he'd go mr. chairman. he called everybody mr. chairman. he wore the worst suits of all time. i was sitting next to i willian ross, the florida congresswoman,
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one time, and he gets up, mr. speaker. he's wearing it looks like a shag carpet from '74. he goes, what's wrong with this picture? and iliana shouts out, the suit? he was unbelievable. what a character. >> what happens to the rug as he comes out? >> we're going to dig it up. the rug is gone. he left prison alone. no one picked him up. he took a taxi home from jail. >> we have to get to news. >> i love the guy. i would have picked him up from jail. i wish i would have known that. >> we have tina brown with us, pete hamill, along with wil yi and joe. for months, president obama has pushed for an overhaul of the nation's healthcare system while relying on congress to hammer out the details. with public support slipping, the president is planning to address a joint session of congress on wednesday night to
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spell out exactly what he wants. it's not clear if a public option will be included in that. interesting. members of the late senator ted kennedy's family and his publisher are criticizing "the new york times" for publishing excerpts of senator kennedy's memoirs ahead of the official publication date of his book. it's set to hit shelves later this month. the book is called "true compass," and it was finished just before kennedy's death. kennedy reflects on many aspects of his life, including the 1969 car crash that killed a political campaign worker at chappaquiddick. crews in california continue to battle the massive station fire while investigators look for clues into what may have sparked it. the fire is now 28% contained after destroying 64 homes. officials believe human activity caused the fire although they're not sure if it was an accident or arson. nasa officials are monitoring a large piece of space junk that is threatening to hit the international space station. the debris, which is a piece of
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european rocket could pass within two miles of the orbiting lab. officials say astronauts are not in danger, and today's spacewalk will likely not be delayed. a new report shows the s.e.c. repeatedly missed chances to uncover bernie madoff's $65 billion ponzi scheme. according to the internal report, the agency asipd signed inexperienced investigators and accepted implausible explanations for his massive profit. madoff recently said he was astonished his crimes were not uncovered. oh, good god. and police in new jersey are looking for five suspects who made off with more than $55,000 in electronics in just 31 seconds. look at this. investigators say the thieves used a brick to break a window, clearing the shelves of 23 laptops, 14 phones, and 9 ipods. >> that's work. >> all righty then. >> teamwork.
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>> tina, you had a reaction to the kennedy story. they're upset "the new york times" got the memoir. >> the kennedys try to control everything. it's news. of course "the new york times," if they got hold of a manuscript, would break anything they could find. why would they agree to wait for the pub date? that's exactly what happens. only the kennedy family would feel they can somehow now complain everybody is not observing the publication date to take part in this huge kind of thing that's going on right now. kennedy was a great senator, but this is out of control. >> interesting point. that's a legitimate point of view. >> this isn't breaking news. this happens all the time. of course. >> half the time it's the publisher. somebody gave the times a copy of the book. it wasn't two guys on a newsstand on union square. >> there's no way you're going to keep this quiet.
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this is a book they're going to sell for $1,000 each? remember we had this story a couple l of weeks ago? >> yes. >> are they going to have sipd copies for $1,000 each, or all of them $1,000 each? >> it's a certain set. the money may not be necessarily going to the kennedy family. >> it's a charity. >> we'll look into that. let's talk about afghanistan. or do you want to talk about levi johnston? >> afghanistan works for us. >> this is an interesting piece by chuck hagel in the washington post. "the limits of force. every great threat to the united states, whether economic, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, health pandemics, environmental degradation, energy, or water and food shortages also threatens our global partners and rivals. accordingly, we cannot view u.s. involvement in iraq and afghanistan through a lens that sees only winning or losing. iraq and afghanistan are not america's to win or lose. win what? we can help them buy time or
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develop, but we cannot control their fate. there are too many cultural, ethnic, and religious dynamics at play in these regions for any one nation to control." this is something the president's going to need to deal with because he has really put a focus at the beginning of this presidency on afghanistan. >> senator hagel, who was also in vietnam, obviously, draws parallels between vietnam and afghanistan. we seem to just be expanding this war year after year after year. and, tina, the president's in a terrible position. >> he's in a difficult position. >> if he listens to people like chuck hagel, he gets attacked from the right. if he listens to his generals, he gets attacked from the left. >> it's interesting. his own advisers were very split on it too. joe biden was very much against the sort of surge in afghanistan. and it took hillary and holbrook, actually, to put out
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the point of view that they backed this idea. obama has taken the position to change to general mcchrystal. he's listening to petraeus, who had huge success in iraq. they did say it's going to get worse before it gets better. in a way, he has to stick with it. he'll get huge opposition from john mccain, among others, if he tries to reverse course. he would look extremely weak. i think he has to give it time and see what happens next. he certainly can't react now. >> the president wasn't the only one saying afghanistan is our next focus. we need to try to figure out how to get our arms around this. increase our troops. the landscape is very challenging. we've got to get in there. >> that was always the argument against iraq. iraq is the wrong war. afghanistan is the right war. now we're finding, pete hamill, that afghanistan may be the longest of wars. and my question is -- and i agree with chuck hagel. this isn't just our fight.
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where are the french? where are the germans? where is everybody else? they'll send a couple of thousand, but the germans won't even go out at night because it's too dangerous. enough. we are exhausting -- if you want to call it an empire, you can. we're exhausting our empire like the british did throughout the 20th century. enough. >> also, we never learn anything. when i first went to vietnam, it was the end of 1965. there were 200,000 american soldiers there. within a couple of years, there were 500,000. and we still lost. and it was generals saying, it was westmoreland and others, where all we need is another little dose of the troops and we can control these people. and it didn't. if you go to any church in england or ireland, on the wall is a list of people who died in 1841 in afghanistan or 1880 in afghanistan. names totally forgotten even by
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their ancestors in most cases. and we're going to prepare ourselves for that. these guys, whether we like them or not -- and i don't like the taliban, but they're great soldiers in their own country. if a foreign army came to new york to invade new york, there's some of us who'd say, come on. >> what do you do? you can't let the taliban win back afghanistan. you cannot let that happen. you know, the big tragedy is that the eight years that were lost in iraq, rather than dealing with afghanistan at the beginning when it was a dealable situation. it's almost like the horse bolted, and now the situation is so terminal that now they're left with a situation which may well be unwinnable while al qaeda proliferates all over all these other countries like now they're in africa. >> the more taliban we kill, the more we create. we made the mistake of turning iraq into the paris island of terrorism. people trained there. the ied was not part of the last
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afghan war. it's now part of it every single day. killing people. but if we're going to do anything there -- i talked to some guy from the middle east department of nyu yesterday about this. he thinks there should be a regional conference -- india, pakistan, afghanistan, and nato -- and sit down and deal with this. >> he did nothing. he couldn't get europe to come aboard. >> coming up, david gregory and dan rather. but a couple of other stories we need to get to. >> this is a clip. we're going to show van jones, the green job czar in the administration. he started a group called color of change several years ago. this has actually flared up online because glenn beck, the fox news host, made a point about this. the color of change, the group started by van jones, is now boycotting advertisers who support glenn beck's show
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because glenn beck called the president a racist. you need a little context. this is in february before he joined the obama administration, calling republicans something sort of unkind as he talked about why it's more difficult for democrats in this administration to get things done than it even was for republicans to get things done when they didn't have a majority. so here's van jones in february. >> how are the republicans able to push things through when they had less than 60 senators but somehow we can't? >> the answer to that is [ bleep ]. now, i will say this. i [ bleep ]. and some of us who are not barack hussein obama, are going to have to start getting a little bit ugly.
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>> the word he was using was "a" something. this was brought up by glenn beck because obviously van jones, the group he's not affiliateded with anymore, is helping to boycott glenn beck's show. >> we laugh at glenn beck clips with regularity here, but that could have been brought up by santa claus, and you have somebody in your administration calling republicans a-holes, that's a problem. >> does it matter, though, the green jobs czar? in the big picture, do we really care? i'm just asking. >> i can tell you this, that if george w. bush had somebody working at the epa that called all democrats a-holes, it would be on the front page of "the new york times" and the person would be out of office by the evening news. we know that. by 5:00 this afternoon, a
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republican for a republican administration would already be out of a job. >> van has apologized for those comments. he said, they were clearly inappropriate. they don't reflect the views of the obama administration. there you go. >> we have some polls out. yesterday we showed the independents. now we have the pew poll on congress. >> this is the lowest number in nearly a quarter century for congress. 37% of americans, accord to go this pew poll, view congress favorably. >> tina, why is that? we asked pete this last hour. why are congress' ratings the lowest they've been in a quarter century? >> i have to say, able that i think nancy pelosi is, as a face, she's been pretty toxic for congress right now. in terms of the whole picture, i
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think people are in a state of great malaise about the economy. i think it's much more about that. i think people are feeling their government cannot do anything for them. if they're feeling just betrayed and abandoned. as they wanted obama to bring the hope, and they don't feel it's happening. i think that that's being played out in their feelings about congress. >> i've got to believe too the environment is so toxic this summer. nancy pelosi riding off as talking about un-american tactics. harry reid calling americans "evil." doesn't exactly raise the level of discourse. they've gotten in the mud, and i understand a lot of anger at all these town hall meetings. it's been an ugly, ugly summer politically. >> i think it's just a lack of heroes. i think a lot of the outpouring about ted kennedy was the sense of here was a giant. and the absence is making people
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depressed in a strange way. in a way, i think that hillary clinton is kind of -- the senate kind of misses her actually. she was a big thinker, and she could speak about stuff. she's kind of invisible right now and gone into her new job. mccain, you know, was tarnished by the run. i think that he's reinventing himself actually and doing a pretty good job of being kind of returning as some kind of a spokesperson and leader and a person with stature, but there really is -- it's kind of picnic time. >> we're going to have to leave it on that high note. >> tina brown, thanks for being with us, depressing all of us. >> coming up next, moderator of "meet the press," david gregory. and legendary journalist dan rather, and war strategy "washington post" columnist david ignatius writes about what obama needs to do to win in afghanistan. first, chuck todd has stories making headlines at the white house. (announcer) time brings new wisdom
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there was no conspiracy, no cover up, no deal in oil, no attempt to instruct scottish ministers, no private assurances by me to colonel gadhafi. we were absolutely clear throughout with the libyans and everyone else that this was a decision for the scottish government. >> so just put it on the scottish. >> scotland ever made a decision without checking with london first? come on. >> has london ever made a decision without checking with the u.s. when it involves people from the united states? >> it's not credible. >> sean connery. scottish nationalist. >> does he wait for re-election? >> just go. bye-bye. >> david cameron, just get your suits cleaned and move into downing street. hi, joe. live from the white house, let's go now. nbc news chief white house
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correspondent and political director chuck todd. chuck, the president addressing a joint session of congress next wednesday. sharpening the strategy. what is the strategy? >> reporter: well, i mean, it's answering this plea from democrats. as you know, there have been quite a few of them that said, hey, mr. president, you take control of this debate. you own this healthcare bill. there's no other place that you can own something more than doing a speech to a joint session of congress. there's going to be no doubt after this speech that this is the obama healthcare plan. there had been a lot of -- it had been a little bit number lus, frankly, between all of the different bills racing around congress and what the president was for. now, they're using this big, big stage. the down side for the white house, this is it. there's no other cards to play after this as far as the pr strategy is concerned, mika. >> chuck, let me ask about the public option. i read somewhere yesterday the president may be giving it up. what is the status? does the president move to the left and nail down democrats, or does he move to the center and
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try to grab a few republicans? >> i think the answer to both questions is yes. that's why yesterday i asked axelrod about this three different ways in an interview about the public option, and they're still sticking to this same answer, which is he believes in it. he still thinks it's the best way. but they won't say whether it is -- has to be in it. there's no line in the sand. it's clearly still negotiable. there did seem to be a hint from him, look, it will be clear on wednesday. joe, i would say this. you know these joint session speeches. this is going to be a polarized audience. you're going to have half that chamber sitting on their hands. i think, frankly, the president is only speaking to the other half of the chamber that has the opportunity to applaud him, and that's democrats. my guess is public option's going to stay. >> you know, i was thinking about this. what does the president do? chuck, unfortunately, because of the political climate, and in part the political climate that the hill has helped create with some of this progressive
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legislation, there is no third way. you and i and other people are always thinking, hey, hey, what's the third way? because i'm always thinking, how do you get enough democrats? how do i pull in olympia snow and a couple other republicans? there is no third way now. the president either turns on his base, or he just has a scorched earth policy that says, republicans, we're going to roll the political takes right over to you victory. >> joe, there's a third way when you think about fixing your own policies. you're the white house. you're rahm emmanuel and david axelrod, and you look at what's staring you in the face. is the healthcare debate the way to go to improve my standing with independents, or do i get it in the rear view mirror and then start working on my problem with independents? i have a feeling they're of the attitude, get it in the rearview mirror. in fact, some here at the white house believe any victory with healthcare will give a bump to the president because it will
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show he got something done, no matter what it looks like. and then they can start working long term about their problem with the middle. >> chuck, in your role as political director, have you heard anything about charlie rangel and how the democrats feel about how that situation should be handled? are they looking at it? are they trying to figure it out? do they care? >> reporter: yes. no, there's a lot of people that care. the problem is that, as joe knows, there's a complication here as far as capitol hill politics is concerned versus what the public is seeing. and that is, there's not a lot of republicans, let alone democrats, who want to see charlie rangel go because they don't like the alternative of the guy who would runways and means. a lot of people personally like charlie rangel, so they're going to let the ethics process play through. i think there are some democrats who are hoping the ethics committee makes it easy on them. that their decision is so definitive and their findings are so definitive, it will be
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obvious what to do. if it's not obvious, charlie rangel's going to survive because i've got two words for you, guys, pete stark. no way that the republicans or democrats want to see pete stark as chairman of the ways and means committee. for those who don't know who pete stark is, spend a little time googling him, take a look at video clips of him, and you'll see why they don't want him running the tax committee. >> pete says some very inflammatory things. he usually comes back and apologizes. >> he does. >> he's an old bull. he's been therefor ever. >> i've got to say, i heard the things the guy said before he got to congress, and you thought, god, i hate this guy. you talk to him, he's a nice guy. then he goes off and explodes. >> he's not a public face. >> probably not the public face. >> okay. sorry. i'm naive. >> it's up to nancy pelosi to show real leadership and get charlie out and jump pete. >> this is not her way. she believes in the seniority
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system and all that. >> unless you're john ding l. >> nothing to see here. >> good point. tuche. >> who does miami open with, chuck? >> reporter: who does miami open with? please. monday night football, baby. florida state. at florida state. bring it on. >> who's going to win that one? >> reporter: look, miami has to win it. they don't win that one, there's going to be a lot of angry fans. going to be a long season for the head coach there, randy shannon. you can't say one game is must win, but this one might be. >> okay. chuck todd, thanks a lot. >> the gauntlet has been thrown down. there it is. >> we'll be reading updates from you online at firstread@msnbc.com. coming up next, more changes to the evening news cast. we're going to talk to dan rather when "morning joe" continues. there was a time i wouldn't step out of the house
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shipping's complicated. not really. with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service shipping is easy. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that's not complicated. come on. how about...a handshake. alright. priority mail flat rate boxes only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. this country definitely needs to focus on other ways to get energy. we should be looking closer to home. there are places off the continental shelf. natural gas can be a part of the solution. i think we need to work on wind resources. they ought to be carefully mapping every conceivable alternative. there is an endless opportunity right here.
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charlie gibson announced today he will be retiring at the end of this year, and abc news is filling that chair with another friend of ours, charlie's longtime co-anchor on "good morning america" diane
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sawyer. as a service of our viewers, we'll let you know how the transition goes just to save from you the effort of having to watch for yourself. my very best to both charlie and diane. >> that's good. dan rather, host of hd net "dan rather reports." a news legend who knows a bit about this. are you surprised? >> i am. >> really? >> i thought they would stick with charlie gibson longer. he's brought a lot of stability, brought a lot of class, avuncular to the program. they have been second in the ratings. that's as close as you get to death when you're anchoring one of these evening news programs. i am surprised. not surprised at the choice of diane at all. she's earned it. she wants it. she'd be very good at it. i learned a long time ago -- i've known her a long time -- not to bet against diane sawyer. >> they hesitated, even in hiring charlie the first time, and then they finally gave charlie the position. he did very well. was first in the ratings for some time, i believe. >> they did very well.
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charlie is not only a nice person, but he's a very good reporter. very experienced television presenter. i don't like that phrase. he's very good on television. i was surprised that they didn't stick with him longer. >> why didn't they? it's just a business now. is it that cutthroat? >> well, no -- yes, it is that cutthroat. >> who are you asking this to? >> it's called aed leaing question. >> i also want to say, as a journalist, i try hard never to be cynical, but i am skeptical always. it's in a journalist's nature, when they say, this is why it happened, how they happened, you say what's the real story? david westin who runs abc news is a truth teller. he says charlie wanted out. charlie said he wanted out. he'd chosen this time. until there's other empirical evidence, we'll accept that as the story. now we move forward. diane moves into not a bad
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situation. abc news is a very good news gathering operation. people deep bench, they are writing second. brian williams leads in the ratings. but he leads for a reason. the program is good. brian is good. and brian now presents himself, if you will, as the senior of the three evening news anchors. he also got the job, you know, at the right age. so nbc news, not because i'm here on msnbc, they're very well positioned. but sawyer, you know, she's gorgeous. she's very smart. but don't kid yourself. inside her beats the heart of a real competitor. >> oh, absolutely. she's the hardest working woman in television from everything i've heard. >> i wonder if -- >> it's the way it was set up. >> i wonder if diane's going to face as tough a road. >> no, i don't think so. for one thing, i think abc news will be smarter. you know, when katie came to the program, i got myself in trouble
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for talking about this some time -- >> on our show, in fact. thank you very much. if you could say something bad about diane too, we'd greatly appreciate it. >> les moonves had the idea, words to the effect, ed murrow's been dead for a long time. let's do the "today" show in the evening. that was his vision. that's the vision she stepped into. not her fault. she could have rejected to it. but it was the content of the program that they dumbed down, and they paid a price for that. katie paid a price tore that. i do not think diane will step into as bad a situation. it is true that it is tougher for women in television than it is for men. you will hear people say, well, i like her, but her voice timbre is not exactly what you would expect of an anchor person and all that. in the end, i think she'll do quite well. >> back up what you're saying, the types of stories they started doing were dramatically different right when she stepped
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in, and they weren't doing what at the usually do. we'll be right back, dan. stay with us. hard break. >> we're coming back. also plotting a strategy for afghanistan. does your mouthwash work in six different ways? introducing listerine total care. everything you need... to strengthen teeth, help prevent cavities, and kill germs. introducing 6 in 1 listerine total care. the most complete mouthwash.
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live pictures from outer space for you. >> dan rather is with us. >> continuing our conversation. fascinating. let's see if we can get him to step in it. is there any more -- >> we tried this one. i can't get anybody to answer this. >> he'll say it. >> does a woman face a tougher obstacle in this position than a man? >> absolutely. >> who traditionally has been seen as the voice of authority. >> yes. >> this culture -- and i think we saw it with hillary clinton. this culture, america, tougher on women, it seems to me, than men in these positions of authority. >> it seems to be that way because it is that way. it is particularly that way in television, and it is that way in television news. not as much now as it once was,
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but it's still a fact. a woman faces higher obstacles. not barriers, but obstacle now that a man stepping in in a similar position. >> and, mika, you've said that before off the camera. will you say that on the camera? >> yeah. it's very complicated because i think women get brought to the front of the line many times when they're far too young for it or not ready for it, and then it's a rougher road. so there are opportunities for women. there are many more than there were before. many more women doing well in television. having said that -- and this has more to do with viewers as well as managers. i think it's still a hard thing for the viewer to accept. i don't know if the viewer would have missed that. >> it's a woman as the news anchor, the person delivering the news. >> this is particularly true with the evu's audience. networks don't like to talk
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about it. but the average viewer of the edu is 57, 58 years old, and many people are not as accustomed as younger people. >> with dan rather, with walter cronkite, with reasoner. >> i want to be optimistic about this. the country has changed. a lot has changed in the country. we're now going to have two women evening news anchors. given some time, sawyer will do well in this job. >> if anyone could transcend the issues we talked about very carefully, it would be diane sawyer. >> we've got associate editor and columnist for "the washington post" david ignatius. he describes the counterinsurgency plan for afghanistan. "the counterinsurgency mcchrystal is advocating has excited a new generation of military officers, but there's little hard evidence it will work in a country as large and impoverished as afghanistan. even in iraq, the successes attributed to counterinsurgency came as much from bribing tribal
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leaders and assassinating insurgents as fostering development projects and building trust." david is, of course, the author of "the increment." david, afghanistan is not iraq, is it? >> it's not. the obama administration came into office thinking, this is the good war. this is the war where the application of more troops, better strategy is going to produce results. this was going to be where they'd show that they were tough on national security. and now more than six months in, they were confronting the reality of just how difficult afghanistan is. it's a country that's much poorer than iraq. much more fragmenteded by so many years of war. we've just had an election in afghanistan that is really ended up, despite our hopes, being a sort of documentary evidence of how weak the government system is. there are allegations of fraud and corruption on all sides. we're going to have, i think, several months of delay, as the results are sorted out.
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really couldn't be a worse takeoff point for this key decision that obama must now make, which is whether to back general mcchrystal, a general he has put in charge in kabul, of our troops in his request for a broader strategy and more u.s. troops to back it up. >> dexter filken says that afghanistan has a third century culture. dan rather, you've been going there for 20 years. it's heavy lifting for america, isn't it? >> it is, and it's odds against us. as i said on this program before, we need to make a national decision. are we prepared to go big and go long? long being 7 to 12 or 15 years. if we aren't, it's go home. when david ignatius speaks about afghanistan, everybody said, listen, he knows what he's talking about. afghanistan has to be seen as afghanistan and pakistan in terms of our effort there. it's not the afghan war. this is a war in afghanistan and pakistan. for example, one of the developments we're working on
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this is there's been so much attention this summer to helmand province, which indeed it will be set. by the way, this was just a drop of what was needed. now in the eastern part of afghanistan, helmand being the southwestern part, the eastern part, u.s. forces are finding terrific influx of well-trained al qaeda fighters. and they're having to reemphasize fighting the eastern part. this is a back to the wall situation for the american military there. and we either have to decide we're in it for the long pull or make that difficult decision to say we've done what we can do, and it's time to come home. >> david ignatius, this couldn't be happening at a worse time. american people are growing wary of war, and specifically afghanistan, if you look at the numbers. a majority of americans want our troops to come home. it's a tough time for the president. this is what presidential leadership is about, isn't it? >> as you say, joe, tired by
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iraq, tired by so many years of conflict. if the president decides, this is crucial to our national interests, he has to summon the country behind a policy that his generals in afghanistan, general petraeus, who's the overall commander, think is crucial. what's interesting to me is that, at the heart of general mcchrystal's strategy is the idea that we have been creating enemies in afghanistan by our behavior, by too much use of force, and we've got a shoot them up mentality. you've been talking earlier about the photographs that have been shown on msnbc, american contractors in kabul, you know, which turn off everybody, but most of all afghans. if we're going to be serious, i think dan put it just right. if we really mean it to be there a long time and do it right, it's going to take the president speaking across both aisles to members of the congress, to public, saying this is american interest. here's why. here's why it's worth the sacrifices that are involved. i'm not hearing anything like
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that. i think the reason, quite frankly, when i talk to the white house, the president hasn't made up his mind yet. he doesn't know what to do about this one. >> how does the president, david, early on, committed more troops there and kind of made a focus on afghanistan. i thought there was some statements early on that this was something that was quite important to this administration. >> initially, there was what was called an af-pak strategy. to link afghanistan and pakistan. the president offered 21,000 additional u.s. troops for the afghanistan theater. that was less than was requested by his commanders. theyn they wanted a commitment to an additional 10,000. that request is going to come back. the president deferred that. his strategy is very sound and strong. and basically waffled the key question, which is are we in for the long term counterinsurgency mission, which is takes lots of troops. prevent al qaeda from
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establishing al qaeda safe missions. leaned both ways at once. it's not going to continue this fall. >> they're not going to be able to split the difference on this one. >> david ignatius, thank you so much for being with us. we always appreciate it. >> thank you, joe. >> dan's right. when david ignatius talks -- when he talks about the cia or talks about afghanistan, that is the must read. you stop and read it. >> up next, ted kennedy in his own words. a look at his autobiography, including his thoughts on chappaquiddick. andrea mitchell joins us when we come back. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. (mom) it's summer. our kids are ours again. so it's a good thing walmart guarantees unbeatable prices on all of our cookout favorites,
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andrea mitchell reports, andrea mitchell live in washington. andrea, i guess give us a sense of first of all what we do know about what's in this book. i guess whether or not the kennedys like it or not, it's out there. >> yeah. they don't like it. the family wanted it to be released, they frankly have their rollout as with all big books, they schedule a roll the way they roll books out. "the new york times" did get a copy and there is quite a bit in it. not just his moral failings. which he speaks openly about chappaquiddick but he speaks in so many revealing ways about his family, his brothers, about his relationships with presidents carter and clinton, carter not so good request as you'll hear. and he talks about the competition in the family encouraged by his father, joe. and how he always felt that his life was a constant state of catching up. approaching his own mortality it's a reflective and confessional ted kennedy who acknowledges his own moral
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failures, notably chappaquiddick. the 1969 car accident that took the life of mary jo kopechne. a tragedy he writes that haunted him every day of his life and fears may have shortened the life of his ailing father. >> and understand full well why some might think it right for me to resign. >> reporter: in true confidence he writes he panicked and made terrible decisions and that "atonement" is a process that never ends. he describes excessive drinking during that period and driving joan kennedy his first wife writing i tried to stay ahead of the darkness. kennedy offers new insight into vietnam writing his brother the president began to doubt there was a military solution but he never got the chance to find a way out of the conflict. he reveals that his brother bobby offered to negotiate peace during a secret meeting with president johnson in the spring
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of 1967. the book says lbj did not trust bobby's motives. after the assassination in dallas, he reveals that the family feared for bobby's emotional health worrying that it veered close to be a tragedy within a tragedy. >> the poor may be out of political fashion, but they are not without human need. >> reporter: kennedy is blunt with his reason for running against jimmy carter in 1980. their relationship as unhealthy and blaming carter for squandering an opportunity to get something done on health care. he said he did not run again in 1984 because his children feared for his life. >> you look at the history of health care. >> reporter: he did not blame bill or hillary clinton for failure to pass health care and he called mr. clinton after his affair to reassure him he would stand by him. he talked also about how he had
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had all of these family tragedies but that his faith had always brought him home. >> that was the case even the end, wasn't it. he said it was faith got him through the difficult times. >> and in fact he reveals when he was first given this terrible diagnosis that it was a dreadful always fatal kind of cancer, that he still thought he could fight it because of his experiences with his son teddy junior who he speaks so eloquently about having his leg amputated at 12 and the way his daughter cara had fought lung cancer in 2002. so initially he thought he could beat it but seems as though his faith did carry him through. we know about his wife vicki and the way the family surrounded him. i think certainly in the letter to the pope the cardinal read at the gravesite he was more deeply religious than many of us covering him even knew. >> andrea mitchell, thank you so much. great piece and of course 1:00
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p.m. andrea mitchell reports. dan rather, what are your thoughts on ted kennedy in >> tina brown i think said it earlier this morning that what the senate and the congress in general now lack is somebody who is big. you can like him, dislike him or sometimes one of each. but ted kennedy played big. he played large. and that's one of the reasons he's missed so mightily already and we'll miss more. >> where are the giants in the senate that you covered in the 60s, in the 70s? >> even up through the '80s we had giants or people capable. i want to be careful. there are a lot of people in congress who try hard, but it takes a long time to build the kind of stature that a ted kennedy had. or hillary clinton. i think what could have been if hillary clinton had stayed in the senate instead of secretary of state. we're beyond that. but the other is that ted
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kennedy stood for something. whether they republican or democrat or classified as independent you yearn for those in the congress whether in the lower upper house who stand for something and are willing to face the furnace and take the heat and ted kennedy was willing to do that. >> have i read columns this past week from conservatives, really tough that disagreed with just about everything ted kennedy believed in, and they touch on that point. the thing we liked about him is he told you what he believed in, and he fought for it. mike huckabee said he would much rather deal with a politician who was honest about being liberal, than deal with a dishonest conservative. who tried to fudge it and have it every single way. >> the way a lot of liberals felt about barry goldwater. same straight -- agree or disagree, straight. >> dan rather, great to have you in. >> always good to be here. >> come back soon. thank you very much. coming up the moderator of meet
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welcome back to "morning joe." we are right at 8:00, top of the hour in new york city. we start our trip across this great land in los angeles where jay leno will soon start his new show. hint, hint. we bring in rick. there is the city of las vegas
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where dreams come true. sometimes they die, often they come true. st. louis, the gateway to the west as the sun rises there. how about houston, texas. >> nice. >> seen better skylines. now back east. washington, d.c. the white house. the home of the president of the united states who will be addressing the country next wednesday. then right back here to new york city as we take a look at -- there it is, from the top of the rock, looking south. there you have it. >> welcome to "morning joe." joe and mika along with a flustered willie geist. >> you okay, willy? >> the show in san antonio, talking about london. >> i didn't have any idea what those were. i'm going to be honest. i said houston, might have been milwaukee. >> exactly. and of course we've got the great pete hamill with us. a legendary pete hamill. >> absolutely. >> another word for old.
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>> legendary. and "time" magazine editor is with us, revealing the cover of "time." first let's look at some of the top stories today. >> let's do that. officials in california say they contained more than a quarter of the massive station fire burning near los angeles though crews have fought back flames around forested land the fire remains a threat to 12,000 homes. for months president obama pushed for an overhaul of the health care system while relying on congress to hammer out the details. now with public support slipping the president is planning to address a joint session of congress on wednesday to spell out exactly what he wants. it's not clear if a public option will be included. and a star high school football player in mississippi credited for his actions off the field. video from school bus camera shows him tackling a 14-year-old female student who pulled out handgun and started making threats.
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police say she was apparently tired of being picked on. all of the students are okay. the girl could be tried as an adult. that's a quick look at the news. >> from washington moderator of meet the press david gregory, here in the studio "time's" managing editor who will reveal the latest issue shortly. first to david in washington. david, the president's going to speak before a joint session of congress. is this his last chance to sell health care in 2009? >> there's no question that is certainly what they believe in the white house. this is a big step, it will be the 16th anniversary of president clinton doing the same thing on the same issue, which is not a parallel that this white house necessarily likes, but they are where they are. so, the president's going to do this i'm told this will be done primarily for president obama to take ownership of this issue. what that means is simplify, to
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cut through the confusion on the issue and lay out what he's for. does that mean he'll spell out every detail, no, but it will be clear, i'm told, no confusion where he comes down on what he wants out of health care reform. he's been called on to do this by a lot of allies, including some top allies in congress who have said that his unwillingness to do this heretofor produced problems and that the president now in the words of one ally needs to make it easy for members to go back and say yes instead of no in front of audiences back home because right now all the heat they have in august has made it very difficult. >> david, he's got two choices. he can shore up support on his left and decide he's going to pass a democratic bill that no republicans will support, or he can try to reach the middle and at least get olympia snow and a couple of republicans. any suggestion which way he's going to go? >> i've seen the two scenarios
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this way. somebody who is familiar with the white house thinking has said the president has a very high tolerance for risk, which means he has not been persuaded he has to abandon a ram it through approach. he could pursue this reconciliation of -- budget reconciliation idea he splits the bill in two, gets some of the liberal stuff like a public option and get that with 51 votes, some of the insurance reforms and some of the other aspects, maybe up to 60 votes. that would be the hardball tactic. the other way is he tries to, basically, cobble together agreement in his democratic caucus who among democrats including the more conservative democrats by scaling down any option of a public plan, and trying to bring along not just olympia snow and one other republican but also maintains support among those more conservative democrats. if he can maybe he can get to 60. >> do you think reconciliation is an option here?
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that will poison the senate well for the rest of the president's term. >> i think there's no question that a lot of people believe that. but i'm not persuaded yet that the president has taken that completely off the table. >> okay. >> david, i feel like this has happened before, maybe not before a joint session of congress, but the president has been fairly multimedia about his agenda and he's spoken out and tried to make clarity on this issue before. what is going to be different this time? >> well, i think they have to get beyond rhetoric. i think he has to get beyond talking about the principles of the issue and now it's a leadership test. now he has to face his -- the left in his party and say you know, this is what we have to do because we have to get something done this year. this is a crucial test for democrats who are, you know, after all a party of government, can they actually govern, getting? through that is a vital need and how are they going to do that.
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there's agreement in the white house and certainly on capitol hill, this is the time the president has to start working individual members and bring democrats around the idea of what's actually possible at this point. i spoke to a white house adviser who said look, one thing about august is that it clarified exactly where we are vis-a-vis the republicans and what they are going to support and not going to support. other democrats have said the white house made a huge strategic mistake spending as long as they did trying to negotiate with republicans in the first place when some of those were never going to agree to what they were proposing. >> stay with us, david. let's bring in rick stingle. fascinating, the president going to try one more time. to sell his health care plan to america. >> i think he's been watching "morning joe" and hearing everybody say he's got to lead and set out standards. joe klein writes for us this week basically saying this
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president has to go there and say here are the things i will veto if they are in the bill, and here are the things that must be in the bill for me to support it. and i think everybody there has been a consensus that he has to do that. and he has in some sense maybe overlearned the lessons from the clinton period by saying hey, we're not going to do it, you in congress handle it. there has to be a middle path. >> joe klein obviously has this article in the new "time" magazine. what's on the cover? >> what is on the cover is the man who is remaking prime time television and changing the way mass media works, your colleague jay leno. so it's a story about not only about jay but about the big gamble and risk that nbc is taking, and how what is going to happen to prime time network television. >> what way is this revolutionary? >> it is so old fashioned that it's in fact radical because it's basically sort of the ed
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sullivan show run by a comedian in prime time five nights a week saying that old model that we used to have where we spent millions to create hour-long dramas and comedies five night as week is over. now prime time is about live programming, it's about nonfiction programming, reality tv, and it's a risky strategy. but it's a much, much less expensive strategy than putting on prime time dramas. >> if it works the money that it saves. >> if it works then i think "morning joe" becomes afternoon joe, evening joe, and that's actually what's going to happen. >> can we sleep past 4:00 a.m.? >> if you're on in the afternoon you can. >> i like that brave new world. what else is in "time"? >> speaking of health care we have a terrific story by karen tulmuty on charles grassley, as david was saying clarifying where the republicans are. because the democrats spend a lot of time thinking that they
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might get chuck grassley to sign up to something that could eventually be bipartisan and he basically said sorry, folks, i'm not going to do that. he's up for re-election. it's now back to maybe olympia snow. >> david gregory, is that pretty much how it pans out according to your reporting? >> i think it is. i think something else. i think the president is in a position to say to democrats and some democrats now on the left are not very happy with what they think the president is preparing to do. not certain that's the case but certainly those who have been working on this say there is no way they are going to get a public plan the way the president has sketched it out and they are also hearing more about the public plan being only a sliver of health care and not the whole thing. but i think the president is in a position to say to democrats, look, where we are as a place that the likes of ted kennedy couldn't reach for decades, that we have an opportunity at real insurance reform, portability, getting pre-existing conditions covered under insurance instead
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of people being dropped. an agreement with the drug companies. individual mandates. these are huge reforms that we as a party have an opportunity to pass. let's take what we can get, get a bill through, it doesn't mean that we're done working on this going forward. as ted kennedy once told one of his colleagues, it may take four or five years to get the bill that you ultimately want but you keep plugging away. that i think is the position the president is now preparing to take. my question is in terms of leadership test, has he prepared democrats, more liberal democrats, for this step to say you may not like it but this is what's possible right now and this is where i'm going to lead you. >> pete hamill is the enemy of good or should the president tell america this is our time, this is our time to pass the type of health care reform that ted kennedy spent his entire life trying to pass. >> i think in this kind of a contest he has to give the republicans somewhere to fall.
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in other words, it cannot be take it or leave it. i think there has to be some room to make a negotiation plausible. it still might be resisted totally, won't get a single republican vote. but perfect is not an ambition most human beings ever have. >> certainly not politicians. >> no. >> seriously. rick, you worked at the constitution al center in philadelphia. our constitution, our system was created to frustrate politicians who wanted to get their idea of perfect through congress. it never happened. that was james madison's vision. >> exactly, the balance of power and part of what happen there is is that you end up getting compromise. the founders were not enemies of compromise. they thought compromise was often a good thing. i think what you'll see with the health care and again, eluding to what david was talking about with, i think obama will say we
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can make incremental changes to get to the point where we want to go. it doesn't have to be a touchdown pass but we do everything all at once in one bill t. clintons were the enemies of incremental. it's got to be this universal grand design. i think obama should say you know, we'll get there in different steps and it might not happen at once but we'll get there. >> david, let me ask you as we're now nine months in the obama administration. are we getting clear definition of how the white house works? because this is a white house that's come under criticism from both sides over the past month or two, for not having their own clear vision of where they want to go. is this a white house that's run by david axelrod, or is it run by rahm emanuel or you have raum
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and axlerod. >> i think health care has been a case that is almost unique in that you had rahm emanuel as chief of staff from the house who gets a lot of credit, frankly, for the bill that he negotiated on the house side. and yet this may ultimately be problematic because it leaves a lot of liberal members in the house feeling like they are preparing to cast a vote that won't be matched on the senate so they are farther out there. but he was able to do that work on the house side. look, i think what you see out of all of them is a pragmatism on health care. i think they have been hanging back in the interest of forming a compromise at the end without committing too soon. it's a classic association. the problem is they put themselves in a position where they were waiting for the likes of a senator backus to pull off a grand compromise and there were other democrats that thought that was foolish and naive, never going to happen,
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then they lost this time. so i think two things. i think there has been pragmatism that runs through their approach to most things. but i do think the likes of david axelrod and rahm emanuel on other aspects whether it's stimulus or dealing with the financial system have played a heavy role here trying to reflect where the public is on these issues. >> you're going to be talking to david this weekend, right? >> that's right. we'll have david axelrod talking about what are the president's next step, then a wider discussion about this very topic about how the president is doing overall, the coming anniversary of 9/11 as wells that challenge in afghanistan and we'll have among our guests tom friedman, tom brokaw and rudy giuliani, former mayor of new york. >> and rick, what else do you have in "time" magazine? >> we have a terrific story about arne duncan, the new secretary of ed kapgs, and the fact he'll have billions of dollars more than any secretary
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of education ever had to spend. and how he plays basketball every weekend. we have a great story about all of the new kind of cancer vaccinations that people are experimenting with. fantastic issue. >> sounds great. sounds like a fantastic iru. on the cover again talking jay leno, how he may be changing tv. >> we'll see. >> as you said earlier, back to the future. >> back to the future. never a better time to be a classic. >> okay. rick, thank you. and david gregory, thank you very much. the latest cover of "time" has jay leno on it. coming up, the madoff files, the top story in "the washington post." the stunning report showing how the sec failed multiple times to catch bernie madoff. also, a check on business before the bell with cnbc's erin burnett. and our political roundtable
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focusing on the top talkers of the day. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. does your mouthwash work in six different ways? introducing listerine total care. everything you need... to strengthen teeth, help prevent cavities, and kill germs. introducing 6 in 1 listerine total care. the most complete mouthwash.
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welcome back to "morning joe." a live shot of new york city. let's get new revellations about bernie play dof's ponzi scheme. "the washington post" broke it wide open in a scathing report the watchdog for the securities and exchange commission says that the agency had repeated opportunities to uncover the fraud going back 16 years. and they blew them all. nbc's senior investigative
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correspondent lisa myers is live with this story. what have you got? >> reporter: this report absolutely takes your breath away. in a lot of years of reporting on government screw-ups this is the -- among the most devastating indictments. the report paint as picture of incompetence and inexperience. of examiners who didn't do the most basic checks. in some cases because going through the records would have been too time consuming. >> what do you say to the public? >> reporter: bernie madoff's investment activities aroused suspicion as early as 1992. the investigation by the inspector general reveals over 16 years the sec received six substantive complaints that raised significant red flags which, if followed up on, could have uncovered the ponzi scheme. we already knew that in 2005, whistle blower harry gave the sec a detailed road map of the
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fraud. now it seems there were many more, including this last year that madoff keeps two sets of records. the most interesting on his computer. >> for 16 years it was just one abysmal failure after another that allowed madoff to continue his scheme. >> reporter: there were five sec investigations over that period. all narrowly focused. not one thorough and competent. or looking into the possibility of looking into the possibility of a ponlzy scheme. wefrn when lawyers caught him in lies and misrepresentations the matter was dropped. >> it is incompetent but incompetent of a magnitude hard to believe. >> reporter: now to help madoff's victims his beach front home in montauk, new york is for sale. shown in a video tour by u.s.
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marshals. >> left and right nothing but atlantic ocean. >> reporter: understated ely ganls, 3,000 square feet and a pool, with robert deniro and ralph lauren as neighbors. as for the report madoff was interviewed for it. he told investigators he thought he was caught about three years ago when he had to give the sec an account number for some of his trades. had the sec checked that account it would have been game over. madoff said he was astonished when the sec never even followed up, joe. >> my gosh. >> unbelievable, lisa. >> incredible. >> lisa, i got to ask you. pete and i are talking. it almost sounds so unbelievable as chuck schumer said that you suspect some level of corruption. is there any sense of that? >> reporter: there was no evidence at all of corruption. they discounted those issues. what you found was basically a
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pervasive lack of training, a lack of qualifications, for example, some of the managers didn't understand some of the basic functions of the market they were supposed to be investigating. some of the lawyers knew nothing about securities law. you had people doing jobs for which they were not well trained. and which in many cases for which they were not well quauled. one of the things i think you're going to see is in response to this is i know people like chuck schumer are going to try to double the agency's budget because he said it's not realistic to have a lawyer making $60,000 taking on a lawyer for the big players making a half million. that we have -- that they have to somehow really upgrade this agency, get smarter people and frankly, more dedicated people. >> all right. nbc news's lisa myers. thank you so much. great story. great reporting. was it dylan ratigan said a
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problem was that you have a lot of people here that worked at the sec, that then wanted to work on wall street. use this as a way to work for people like bernie madoff. >> should have a five-year period you cannot leave the sec and work on wall street because a lot of these guys try to curry favor, wink, nod, give me a job later. not saying it happened here but it happens. >> it happened in the defense business. we had to pass laws that guys, generals who were in the procurement end of the army couldn't end up working at some arms manufacturer. >> isn't that something. >> one of the lessons i think, and i think we'll see a little bit of this in the obama administration, if there is more regulation then you don't need the watchdog so much. the fact there was so much deregulation means you need sec guys. if you have the sec guys who are incompetent, taking the place of
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actually real regulation, then you have the worst of all possible worlds. >> no doubt about it. >> they should hire madoff, too. you know. on a case by case thing and it takes a thief to catch a thief. >> catch me if you can approach. coming up next. >> i saw that movie. >> one movie a decade. good. we're getting new weekly jobless numbers. the latest from erin burnett live at the new york stock exchange next. >> check us out on the radio. we're live from 10:00 a.m. to noon eastern time. go to our website, joe.msnbc.com. i'm racing cross country in this small sidecar,
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let's get a check on business before the bell with erin burnett live at the new york stock exchange. >> good morning. >> what's going on with you? >> we got a lot of news on retail. market was down yesterday. we're going to have a solid open today and right now it's thanks in part to a couple of retail headlines. one of them is from costco, the largest retailer that actually reports every month how it's doing. and they said that same store sales, basically this year versus last year down 2%. joe you're going to say it's down. why is the market celebrating. this is an issue the market thought it was going to be down
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6%. costco is going to open sharply higher along with other retailers. target is crossing now, another big retailer and good barometer of back-to-school. they had a drop versus last year but saying traffic as in people going to the store was about the same as a year ago. that was before lehman. so you know, maybe, joe, no huge up surge but i think this is better than the market expected. they are saying there was a meaningful improvement from last quarter. there you have it. that's a lot of the optimism. we have the jobless claims crossing. down to 470,000 in line with expectations which is going to mean the unemployment number probably not a lot of change. that's the number tomorrow and we expect the rate to go up to 9.5%. >> okay. >> that's what i got. >> all right, erin. you go to the opera last night?
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>> i did. i heard the opera last night. >> very good. >> who was it? what were they doing? >> last night, i don't know who it was last night because i was actually with my family in pete hamill's neighborhood in tribeca. >> dinner there. >> great. >> what did you eat? >> i sort of had a sampler. you'll be proud of me. i had a little -- just a bite or two of the ribs to see what they were like. then a little bit of my wife's fried chicken. just a little bit. i'll be honest being the southern guy i am i could not put down the drumstick. i could not. i think the lincoln center's going to continue opera throughout next week as well. >> oh, that's great news. >> the whole upper west side is
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filled with -- talent. >> with revelers. >> i want pete hamill to go up and write about it because we have some of the greatest voices in the world competing with new york taxicab drivers honking going past. >> thank you very much. >> see you guys. have a good day. >> coming up our political roundtable. talk about the top talkers of the morning. and the author of "evolution of god." there was a time i wouldn't step out of the house without my makeup. now, it's no problem. (announcer) neutrogena tone correcting night serum with high performance soy to even skin tone and active retinol to speed cell turn over. clinically shown to visibly fade
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i live in fear every day
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that i will lose my home. not because i took on some irresponsible mortgage, no. i work hard my whole life. one of my medications is $389 every two weeks. and i'm afraid i might not be able to afford my property taxes and i'll lose my home. please hear this voice of the disabled. i just don't know what to say. >> i don't either. >> the heckling of a woman in a wheelchair. >> pete hamill just sighed. what were you saying? i'm not sure i have the words. >> so many of these people would profess certain religious believes and everything but
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there's no christians in the room, no generosity for the least of us, the people who have been injured. you see it in autistic kids struggling in a restaurant. people yell at the kid, you know. there's something so hard that's happening to the way we look at everybody else. >> a lack of graciousness. not only in this debate but in all of the debates. you're either on my side or you're the enemy. it doesn't matter who you are. terrible situation. this has been a long, ugly political summer whether you're a conservative, a moderate or a liberal. all of the name calling on all sides. and apparently it's affecting the way americans are looking at washington. a new pew poll shows only 37% of americans have a favorable impression of congress, 52% an unfavorable impression. and rick stingle, that's the
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lowest in a quarter century. according to pew. their lowest number in a quarter of a century. >> by the way, over the course of that quarter century it has been trending downward pretty consistently. one of the things that pollsters look at is the number, do you trust the decisions that washington made for you. that has been going down pretty consistently for a long time. by the way, it was high in the 1950s when the government was telling put your head under your desk and you won't get hurt in a nuclear explosion. >> it may reflect actually, you know, honest and fair-minded appraisal of washington. >> i think there is kind of a public sentiment where people are looking for a voice that makes sense to them. and we were talking earlier with dan rather and tina brown about the loss of a kennedy and who are the heroes in congress, the big voices. >> you look over the past six, seven, eight months, the president's approval rating has dropped 20%, nancy pelosi
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dropped 20%, congress has dropped. the republicans, my god. only 20%, 21% of americans even identify themselves as republicans. there seems to be such a huge leadership void in washington, d.c. >> by the way, i do think, i mean, certainly one of the things that obama ran on and campaigned on is this idea of bipartisanship. everybody's numbers would rise if there was some kind of bipartisan solution to some of these issues. that is what the public wants. >> let's look at another poll. this one coming from quinnipiac, a new poll out of new jersey. new jersey and virginia the bell weathers in 2009. the republican, chris christie, 47%, jon corzine at 37%. and this comes, pete hamill, after about a month of corzine attack ads against chris
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christie. really tough ads. but the numbers aren't moving at all. >> this might be a reflection of a revulsion against the nastiness of the campaign. i look -- i don't even vote in new jersey. i don't live there. but i see them in the morning. and i say i don't want to -- what is this? >> last week they had to hold back two campaigns about speeding tickets. chris christie, a menace to the roads of new jersey, 13 speeding tickets. they came back corzine has two. the level of the debate is not impressive. >> sort of says it all. >> you look at also in the virginia campaign, the republican leading there as well. i wonder if you're going to see a sentiment like we've seen in the past, throw the bums out whether they are our bums or their bums. >> what you see in midterm elections generally there is an anti-incumbency quality and i think we're seeing that. also what pete was talking about
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a moment ago. lack of civility across society and particularly in politics. politics is a thing that changes the tone and people don't like that. >> rick, thank you so much for being with us. again, new cover of "time" magazine this week looking at jay leno. >> we're going to talk about that on the radio, too. >> coming up, a great subject, how the concept of god has evolved across the ages. we're going to be talking to author robert wright when we return. most for headaches.
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coming out with a new version of the bible being published that is gender neutral. that's true. yeah, for instance t books of
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mark, luke and john are now the books of chris, gene and terry. >> welcome back to "morning joe." 46 minutes past the hour with us now robert wright, senior fellow at the new america foundation and the author of the new book "the evolution of god." in a recent article he writes this about the war between science and religion. quote. there are atheists who go beyond disbelief in god and insist a form of god talk is incompatible with a scientific world view. there are religious believers who insist that evolution can't account for the creation of human beings. these two warring groups have more in common than they realize and no, it isn't just that they are both wrong, it's that they are wrong for the same reason. >> robert wright, great to have you, the author of "the evolution of god." i want to give you a response that i got after a republican debate where that question about evolution was asked.
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and for those that raise their hands i wonder if you raise their hand and believed in evolution, i heard from so many people, that guy doesn't, can't believe he's running for president, he doesn't even believe in god. it has been so stripped down, dumbed down, we've been told for years that science and faith are incompatible. you say that's not the case. >> it depends on your conception of god. there are religious ideas that are incompatible in modern science. i think serious theologians need to accept if there is a god he must have used natural selection as his instrument of creation. but by the same token i think atheists have to recognize that's not an inconceivable thing, and in fact in the book i argue that there's actually more evidence than most people realize that there could be some larger purpose working itself out through the workings of the
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natural world. >> explain how, you talk about this in the book, how are we, humans, hard wired to believe in a greater being? >> well, i think -- i don't believe there is like a god gene that predisposes us to religious belief. i think a lot of parts of human nature incline us to accept stories about devine beings and i think it all starts back, and i show in the book, before the invention of agriculture and hunter gather societies where every society seemed to have the idea that there were all of these gods out there controlling the weather and so on and fortune and misfortune. then our idea of gol god evolved. that's what the term evolution in the title means. to what we now know as god, a single god, all powerful and good which wasn't the original idea. and i try to show that ideas of god have been adaptable in kind of a constructive way.
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and all three of the abrahamic religions have shown a capacity to generate tolerance when it's in their interests. >> let me stop you there, every debate that a lot of us have had either in college or law school about religion, that the trump card for those arguing against the importance of faith would say more wars have been waged in the name of religion. you say in your book that most wars are about politics, not faith, and that people of faith throughout time have actually been pragmatic. solution solvers. >> right. i think most of the religious conflicts are not fundamentally about religion. yes, religious people will invoke scripture to justify killing people but the fact is that the scripture offers in a menu of choices, the koran, the bible, they can make their choice. the question is what circumstances incline them to
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make the choice. i try to show in ancient history in the formative stages they show the capacity to when they see it in their interests to get along with people they see the possibility of a win-win gain they find the tolerance. i think that's true today. >> i think a lot of the problems that nonbelievers have is something you mentioned a minute ago is proof. i want to believe in something but nothing tangible. you said there is more proofr than we believe. >> i think -- i don't think you can get to a highly specific conception of god through looking at the inspecting the way the natural world works. i think it's worth noting that for example human history has a moral direction, i argue and i try to illustrate that in the book that back in hunter gatherer days, you would consider people in the village subhuman. most of us consider people of all races, creeds and colors human, they deserve, they have basic human rights. that's a radical change.
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>> that doesn't come from god, that comes -- >> i'm saying it's -- the mechanics of history encourage us, they challenge us to expand our moral horizons. society is on the level of global organization. we may be able to build a global society but only if we get better at seeing the perspectives of people around the world. i'm saying that kind of challenge has been -- has been potzed to us repeatedly through history, as we tended to respond in a way that expands our moral horizon. if that's built into the dynamics of history maybe there is larger purpose. i'm not here to tell you any of these claims of special revelation are true because i don'ts personally subscribe to them. i'm saying the idea of some larger purpose is not a crazy when in fact there is some evidence. >> fascinating. i want to -- this is incredible. the book looks incredible. tell us about the week where nobody can get in touch with you. that's almost equally as incredible in this day and age. what were you doing?
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>> on a one-week meditation retreat. you tried to get in touch with me. ill timed i guess. i was meditating intensely all day. and you know, it's not unrelated to the book in the sense that it shows you that the human mind as kind of designed by natural selection, is kind of a cramped constrained thing. there are larger -- the possibility of larger truths out there than we normally i think are in touch w. meditation helps you kind of clear your mind of the things that cramp your moral vision. and briefly become a better person. in my case it lasted about three days. my wife is grateful for those three days, you know. >> you bring up something serious. i did a sunday morning piece on meditation and children. they did a study on this. they do better in school and better in life if they --
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seriously, are put through meditati meditation. >> whether you talk about meditation or the faith, the christian faith that i was raised in, whether you talk about jewish faith, islam, if you get into a faith and there's not a god gene but there is something in us that we put others above ourselves. for some reason that's satisfying. i went down to hurricane katrina and was there every day, all these young people of faith, of all faiths down there. and you go my god, they are spending a month, month and a happen, some skipping college to be here. that was by faith that had then put others above themselves. >> this is an argument i there with some of the new atheists that all of the problems of the world are due to religion. there are soup kitchens all over america that are run by religious people who are basing their behavior on faith. my argument in the book is religion can just as easily be a
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constructive force as destructive when notwithstanding some of the things in the modern world. if you look at the ancient history of religions it becomes clear what circumstances bring out the best in religion and there's hope. >> check out the book. >> all of us would do well to unclog every day. if you're a catholic, go kneel in a church. if you are agnostic, just get away, unplug. >> robert wright, thank you so much. the book is "the evolution of god." what did we learn? anything? i think so. i've still got room for the internet. with my new netbook from at&t. with its built-in 3g network, it's fast and small, so it goes places other laptops can't. anything before takeoff mr. kurtis? prime rib, medium rare. i'm bill kurtis, and i've got plenty of room for the internet. and the nation's fastest 3g network. (announcer) sign up today and get a netbook for $199.99 after
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welcome back to "morning joe." time to talk about what we learned today. i learned what book i'm going to read over labor day. "evolution of god. >> chris brown tells us fighting happens in all relationships. >> he wasn't raised in the way to have a mature relationship. despite his plom is next to him in the interview. >> two, jim traficant a free man. >> like mandela. i knew this day was going to come. all the concerts, boom, it's happened. your leader's free. >> i want to be present when traficant takes that hair piece out of his safe deposit box. along with anything else he put in when he went to the joint. >> on radio, we'll be talking
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about rangel, leno, and much more. >> sounds great. willy, way too early. >> it's "morning joe," we turn it over to contessa brewer and monica novotny. president obama taking his health care push to congress in a major address. does the white house plan include a bipartisan bill? >> we want to work with anybody who will work with us to bring stability. >> america gets an early look at ted kennedy's memoir and his family is fuming. crews make progress in the california fire fight but for some families it's too late. >> >> a day at the zoo turns into a nightmare for a teen. how did he end up inside the lion's den? good thursday morning. i'm contessa brewer. >> i'm monica novotny. we begin with politics and president obama preparing to
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kick off what they call the final debate on health care reform going before lawmakers and the american people to detail what the president wants in the bill. >> the speech is before a joint session of congress next wednesday night. he's going to deliver it a day after lawmakers return from august break. almost a week before the deadline for the senate's gang of six. remember the president said i need you to come up with a bipartisan deal, he gave them a deadline. let's go to chuck todd for nbc news. chuck, how much is at stake for the president and any chance it could backfire? >> well, there is no plan b when it comes to a pr strategy. this is it. this is the biggest of settings that you can ask for giving a speech to a joint session of congress. so, it is in many ways a reaction to what democrats felt needed to be done which was they wanted the white house to take the lead and own health care. now, the white house is promising details. the question is on one of the
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